Customer Reviews: Percy Faith's Greatest Hits
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on November 30, 2000
Those of us who are baby boomers can certainly remember hearing this music as children; it was all over the radio and in public places.
This lush orchestration has fallen from popularity. Percy Faith was certainly one of the masters of the room-filling recording method.
This CD is particularly striking when played in a car with a good audio system. Remembering hearing these in the sixties on AM car radios with a single speaker, the new environment can be a revelation.
Take this music for what it's worth: it is relaxing to listen to, great 'mood music', and able to transport many of us back forty or more years. Simply beautiful tunes without pretense, without anything to prove.
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on December 21, 2008
When I was around 13-14 I babysat for a couple who embodied glamor and charm. They had a stack of 'easy listening' records--Herb Alpert, Montovani, Bert Kaemphert, and Percy Faith. These records were a distinct counterpoint to the gritty blues and edgier rock of the mid 60's, which reflected the turbulent social shift of the era. This orchestral music was a reflection on what we wanted the world to be--beautiful, ordered, no notes out of place. Alas, it was not meant to be and romance was thrown out with other outmoded ideas like respect, civility, and action rather than protest. I discovered this cd on and bought it on a whim---more to see if it really was as beautiful and romantic as I remembered. Sometimes, my memories embellish the memory far more than it originally was! This recording has been on my stereo (oops! computer cd player) for the last 4 hours and it is as lush and perfect as I remembered. This is music for the background of a dinner party, true. But even more, on closer, adult-ears listening, it is music for a grand, sweeping romance. It reminds me that a woman looks ever so much more seductive in a form-fitting black dress and elbow-length white gloves than she does in a midriff shirt, jeans with a 3" rise, and be-jewelled flipflops. It is music that never scored a divorce, break-up of family, hate or dissent. It scored looking into someone's eyes and feeling that spark of chemistry, that jolt of sexual energy, all while having the grace and style to wait until the time and mood was just right. This music might move you to tears if you're of a certain age (Ebb Tide) or it might move you to dance with your darling. It will move you nonetheless, with its deceptively lush strings and horns that belie musicianship far deeper than cotillion dresses and white dinner jackets. If you love romantic and elegant, superbly crafted orchestral music, you will love this Percy Faith cd.
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on March 24, 2001
I own this album and find very wonderful. His classic THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE sounds excellent, just as I used to hear on the radio when I was a child, or when it is reproduced at my favorite radio station. What a great sound in SYNCOPATED CLOCK and the latin ambience in DELICADO. I can only say from this album. Very much recommended.
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on December 6, 2004
Say what you will about this being "elevator music", it is the single most complete distillation of the ethos of a culture you'll ever find. Percy Faith's lush arrangements and sweet melodies are nothing less than the fullest possible expression of the soul of America. Don't get me wrong, I like Sinatra and Bacharach, and I enjoy mellow bossa nova. But no one has created a uniquely American art like Percy Faith. I used to listen to rock, from metal to punk, but I now realize how mistaken I was. All that aimless rebellion, no idea of how it failed to truly express the nature of our cultural heritage. It's pointless to fight it, it's our reality, it's how we see the world, it's our soul. Percy Faith embodies it like no one else.
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on March 27, 2003
Hey Kids...wanna be a true rebel? Well,first you have to realize what is and isn't rebellious.You see,in recent years there has been quite a shift,even a reversal if you will,in who is and who isn't a rebel...problem is,most people haven't even perceived it. To illustrate this let me tell you a little true story about me and Percy Faith's greatest hits.I was in a record store one day and I happened to purchase a copy of Percy Faith's greatest hits and a bag of vanilla candy.Well this typical body pierced freak of a cashier has a little difficulty containing his smarmily derisive chuckling (probably thinking something along the lines of "Which is more vanilla,the candy,the music or the guy buying it?")Can you believe that...this guy laughing at me? How many body pierced tattooed freaks can you see in your average suburb or mall these days?How many suburban Eminem clones listen to Rap music exclusively these days and think it's "their" music and that they're "fighting the power"? Zillions...thats how many.Who's the real rebel here? Not even baby boomers listen to Percy faith.So Yo, wanna keep it real? Then break off a little of that "Theme to a summer place" on their backsides or a put a dose of that "Delicado" up on 'em You know what I'm sayin'? I'm 5000 G,peace out.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 6, 2008
This is one of those early CDs that flooded the market at the dawn of the digital age which simply converted a long-standing vinyl LP to the new format to take advantage of the novelty. Minimal tracks (usually 10 to 12 but some with as few as 8) and a complete lack of liner notes and contents discography were the norm. And this one is no exception. And even as a vinyl LP in the early 1960s the title was totally incorrect because half of the cuts were not among his "greatest hits" - certainly not if you consider a "hit" something that made the national Billboard charts.

Of the six hits that are here, some are among the best of their day, beginning with the opening track. The Theme From "A Summer Place" from the film starring Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee shot to # 1 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100 early in 1960 and spent NINE weeks at that position b/w Go-Go-Po-Go on Columbia 41490. It even made a significant impact on the R&B charts, reaching # 2.

Track 3, Till, was among his lesser hits, only managing a # 63 in the spring of 1957 on Columbia 40826 b/w The Last Dance, while Delicado was his initial # 1, hitting that top spot in the spring of 1952 featuring Stan Freeman on the harpsichord on Columbia 39708 b/w Festival. And the very next track, The Song From Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart?), even outdid A Summer Place, spending TEN weeks at # 1 in May/June 1953. featuring the lovely voice of Felicia Sanders on Columbia 39944 b/w Swedish Rhapsody (Midsummer Vigil), which also charted at # 21 (track 12).

All My Love, adapted from the French song Bolero, became the second hit single for the Canadian-born orchestra leader when it reached # 7 in the fall of 1950 on Columbia 38918 b/w This IS The Time. But that's it insofar as his "greatest hits" are concerned when it comes to this release. They Can't Take That Away From Me was released twice without becoming a hit, the first time in 1950 b/w If I Had A Magic Carpet on Columbia 38862, and again in late 1953 as the flip of Non Dimenticar (which also failed to chart by the way) on Columbia 40155.

Other failed singles include Jamaican Rhumba, which also was issued twice in 1952, first on Columbia 39784 b/w Oye Negra, and then on Columbia 39790 b/w Da Du, and Tropical Merengue which was a 1955 release b/w We Won't Say Goodbye on Columbia 40543. The Syncopated Clock WAS a 1951 hit, but for Leroy Anderson as well as The Boston Pops Orchestra. Percy's rendition was the uncharted flip of the # 10 hit On Top Of Old Smoky, with vocal by Burl Ives on Columbia 39328. Similarly, The Rain In Spain, from My Fair Lady, was the uncharted B-side to the # 82 minor hit, With A Little Bit Of Luck (also from My Fair Lady) in summer 1956 on Columbia 40696. Neither of those hits is included.

Other legitimate hits overlooked when the album first came out were: his first, I Cross My Fingers, with vocal by Russ Emery which reached # 20 in July 1950 b/w Valencia on Columbia 38786; Christmas In Killarney with The Shillelagh Singers, a # 28 in December 1950 b/w Norah on Columbia 39048; the double-sided hit When The Saints Go Marching In (# 29) b/w I Want To Be Near You (# 30) on Columbia 39528 in September 1951; Return To Paradise - Parts 1 & 11, a # 19 in June 1953 on Columbia 39998; Many Times, a # 30 in December 1953 b/w In Love on Columbia 40076; Drea, Dream. Dream - a # 25 in May 1954 b/w Eleanora on Columbia 40185; The Bandit, from the Mexican film O Cangaceiro, a # 25 in October 1954 b/w Rainfall on Columbia 40323; Valley Valparaiso, a # 53 in February 1956 b/w Bluebell on Columbia 40633; We All Need Love, a # 67 in April 1956 b/w Carmellita on Columbia 40644; and Theme For Young Lovers, a # 35 in June 1960 b/w Bimini Goombay on Columbia 41655.

With the advent of the Adult Contemporary charts in late 1961, Percy would go on to add another nine to those charts from 1967 to 1975. He passed away the following year at age 67.

My suggestion would be to look around for more recent compilations which contain most, if not all, his early hits shown above. And if you're interested in knowing what those Adult Contemporary hits were, I have provided a list in the comments section.
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on August 12, 2006
During the late 1960's here in Houston when I was a little boy, one of the network television affiliates used PERCY FAITH's fantastic "THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE" as their music theme for their afternoon matinee movies[reruns] which featured many of Hollywood's classic movies in glorious Black & White from the era of the 1930's, 1940's and into the 1950's - the Golden Age of Hollywood Films. I got to see some of the greatest classic films of all time and many remain personal favorites to this day, and especially the sound of "THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE", which was played relentlessly during commercial breaks and has become such a great memory. Those were the days indeed: Mae West; The Marx Brothers; Laurel & Hardy; Gregory Peck; Judy Garland; Original WWII Era movies and much more, which I actually got to see long after their heydays, but, better late than never! It took me years to figure out what orchestra played on this dynamic recording, but, eventually, I discovered Percy Faith, and what a grand artist he was - God Bless Him. Everytime I hear this wonderful theme song, it takes me back to those long gone, but not forgotten, Saturday or Sunday mid-afternoon TV Movie matinees from my childhood. This collection includes many other memorable and golden treasure recordings from Percy Faith and His Orchestra.
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on October 29, 2012
This is truly beautiful. Set aside your biases against "Easy listening music" and "elevator music" and just listen. You'll hear fabulous musicians playing gorgeous arrangements of beautiful songs. I've listened recently to Mantovani, Andre Kostalanetz, 101 Strings, and Percy Faith. This CD, "Percy Faith's Greatest Hits," to me, is the best of its genre and one of my favorite CDs period. And it's wonderfully calming: An anti-anxiety treatment with no side effects.
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on April 24, 2009
But now I love it. My dad liked Percy Faith and played this a lot in our house when it came out. My brother and I believed that nothing mattered but rock n roll then.

Now that my tastes have expanded, I just can't get over how finely crafted these arrangements really are. To be truthful, I suppose my favorable feelings for this recording are somewhat sentimental since it reminds me of my dad. But Faith's work does stand on its own well.
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on April 27, 2013
I recently purchased this CD along with the Mantovani collection of 100 tracks and the Best of Mancini. The music selections are fine but to my ear the recording is terrible technically. It's not my stereo system. The others mentioned here sound great. This one sounds muffled on most tracks. The recording engineer had a heavy hand on the volume compression. Dynamic range is little to none. There must be some better Percy Faith recordings out there somewhere. No, I don't pretend to have the golden ear, but on a decent stereo system I think most any listener would hear the difference.
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